Whether you’re a Leadership or Wellness client, you understand your health is foundational to your success.
Managing your health is important, more important than anything else in your life. This includes physical health and emotional/mental health.
Recently we’ve seen more importance given to mental health, and for good reason. Your emotional state affects your physical health, and how you live in the world. Being physically and emotionally healthy allows you to experience more joy and accomplishment.
- Having physical health gives us the strength and endurance to do the things we want, or need, to do throughout the day.
- When we have optimized physical health we get sick less, tolerate more physical extremes like heat and cold, can adapt to changes needed quickly, and can focus on the present because the body isn’t requiring us to focus on it (like pain).
- Emotional health allows us to better adapt to external stimulus; we choose our responses, versus being more reactionary.
- Having strong emotional intelligence allows us to choose between being present, or being strategic. It allows us the ability to use historical experience as learning instruments versus being caught up in what happened in the past. Emotional health gives control over your time and thoughts.
- Emotional accountability brings valuable effort and success to communication, relationships, and your career
Okay, you’re sold on having better physical and emotional health… now what? Here are some quick hits to starting, or expanding, your efforts:
- Eliminate or greatly reduce sugar in your diet. Even sticking to a “weekday clean” and “one weekend day dirty” will greatly help your health. Better yet, eliminate added sugar completely and add more fruit to quench that sweet tooth. No juice though… it’s not treated like its whole fruit counterpart (its missing the valuable fiber and other nutrients)
- Limit starchy vegetables in your diet (or sugar fruits) if you’re looking to lose weight. These include potatoes, carrots, corn, green beans (and others), as well as grapes, apples, bananas etc. Click here for a great list. Having natural, unprocessed or minimally processed foods are healthy. Moderation to some macronutrients, like sugar, aid in weight loss.
- Minimize processing of your foods. Looking for the greatest naturally nutritional value should be your goal. Almost everything in its natural state is unprocessed (notice I said “almost”, not everything raw is unprocessed, technically). The goal isn’t to avoid processing… it’s to maintain or create the most nutritionally sound meal. Sometimes cooking your food actually makes it safe.
- Kinda goes without saying… but eliminate useless foods. Candy bars (not the healthy ones… and yes, there are healthy chocolates), soda, etc. These are totally empty calories and toxic. Let’s say you “have to have it”… choose the smallest portion possible (snack size) and have it rarely. An example would be my love for ice cream. Aside from making some amazing healthy versions myself, sometimes I’m out and about and desire ice cream. Keep the portion small (one scoop) and do this rarely. Food shouldn’t be a driving factor in every choice you make, but you do need to be thoughtful and purposeful with your eating… which leads me to…
- Be thoughtful of what you “feed” yourself. Body and mind, people, body and mind. It’s not just bad food, or toxic thoughts, it’s what you read, what you watch, and especially who you spend time with. Choose your food carefully, with purpose, and be prepared to “diet” when necessary. Filling your life with healthy foods, joy, peace, kindness, uplifting content, constructive disagreement, movement, and love will create a life that gives back what you put into it. Eliminate the negative as much as possible. You have no room in your life for anything toxic.
- Commit daily to positive and constructive communication. Both your internal and external communication needs to follow this rule. This does not mean you agree, or disagree, with everyone. It means you commit to reflection, compassion, empathy, kindness, sincerity, humility, and understanding.
- Move more than you normally do. Athletes can ignore this one, because they move more than most! But for the rest of us… move, and move more. This should include flexibility, strength, and endurance (cardio) movements. Personally, I’ve always favored yoga… but do whatever modal you like. Commit to no less than 15 minutes a day, and ideally 30-60 minutes. It can include multiple events… like yoga in the morning with a walk later in the day. For those who walk or run, you need to add flexibility and strength events. For those who go to the gym, you likely need flexibility.
- Keep up-to-date on your medical health. Skin cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancers are real. Get regular check ups for this, and follow recommendations on self-checks. Thyroid issues are also prevalent as we age. Don’t neglect your teeth either… visit your dentist every six months. Maintenance now can help avoid aggressive treatment, or worse, later. Find local doctors willing to work in partnership with you. Apps like GoodRX can help keep prescriptions costs down.
- Commit to your morals, ethics, and goals. Make accountability and authenticity your foundation. Consider them as you make various choices in life. Forgiveness, empathy, being present and future orientated, communication, gratitude, and embracing love will have an enormous positive effect on how your life feels for you, and the success you experience.
You’ve always got the ability to better yourself, your life, your circumstances… start now. Need some coaching? Reach out and schedule a free 15 minute consultation. Many employers pay for wellness and leadership coaching from licensed and certified coaches. Ask your HR department about that today.